Google, Oracle, Red Hat join effort to fix

Employees of Google, Oracle and Red Hat have joined the U.S. government’s effort to fix the ailing, officials said Thursday.

“Dozens” of workers have come aboard the project in recent days, said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (shown above)—where U.S. residents without health insurance are supposed to be able to shop for coverage—has been plagued with slow load times, timeouts, and other problems since its Oct. 1 launch.

The site was also down overnight Wednesday and during part of last weekend. The site has up since Thursday morning and seeing significant traffic, said Julie Bataille, director of the CMS Office of Communications.

How many extra hands?

Asked exactly how many people have come aboard in recent days, Bataille would only give “dozens” as an answer to reporters during a press briefing Thursday. Experts in site reliability and scalability, including a site-stability expert from Google, have come to the project, she said.

The dozens of additions, including federal workers and contractors, are supplementing the existing teams working on the site, she said.

Outsiders coming to help fix the website are being paid by contractors, Bataille said.

CMS has confidence that the team in place will be able to meet a Nov. 30 goal set by HHS officials to have the site working smoothly for the large majority of users, Bataille added. “We believe that we have the right team in place that is going to enable us to meet that timeline,” she said.

HHS has so far committed about $630 million to the project, Bataille said.

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